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Slow Death for a Tarantula: A Lesson in Arachnid Apologetics

by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D.

In 1999, this author witnessed an unforgettable “air show” in which a dive-bombing maneuver resulted in the gruesome death of an unsuspecting victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a bizarre event, yet that air-to-ground fatality, strangely enough, teaches an important lesson in apologetics.

Military Science: Air-to-Ground Offensive Technology

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Imagine the military engineering and precision implementation that are required for a dive bomber attack, such as the bombing of German military buildings during World War II. Think about the many moving parts involved, and how easily something could go wrong.

Or imagine the more recent computerized robotic technology used to send unmanned aircraft units into Iraqi combat zones to locate targets for subsequent air-to-ground destruction. One such unit is described below:

The UK has ordered Honeywell RQ-16A T-Hawk micro air vehicle (MAV) systems…becoming the first foreign military customer for the backpackable UAV [unmanned aircraft vehicle]. The T-Hawk is the first ducted-fan vertical take-off and landing air vehicle to enter production….After a successful evaluation in Iraq of the MAV in the anti-IED role, the US Navy in November placed a $65 million production contract for 90 Block 2 MAV systems, each comprising two T-Hawk air vehicles and a ruggedized laptop ground control system.

The intelligence required to plan and implement such a craft staggers the mind.

Arthropod Science: Air-to-Ground Offensive Technology

Equally amazing is the “dive bombing” behavior of the tarantula hawk wasp (Pepsis formosa), an aerial arthropod that dives upon—and stabs—its victim, the tarantula Dugesiella echina. The arachnid’s death is a lingering one, allowing a parasitic consumption of the spider’s flesh for as long it remains alive. This prey-predator relationship illustrates what could be called “arachnid apologetics,” displaying a bizarre example of God’s providential balancing of earth’s post-Eden ecology.

Yet even more bizarre are the details of how the venom-stung spider’s flesh is consumed. Two creation scientists reported observations of these tarantulas in their… Continue Reading.

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Written by Institute for Creation Research

For over four decades, the Institute for Creation Research has equipped believers with evidence of the Bible's accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework.

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